Skip to main content

What is a Fastinista? Are they ruining my sport?

I picked up an issue of Runner's World yesterday. On the front was a photograph of a female triathlete wearing a pink and white patterned skirt (running skirt for those who don't know) with a matching spaghetti strapped sports bra, patterned arm warmers, and pink Nike flats. My first thought was "What in the world?", "Have I missed something?" Eventually I flipped open the magazine to see what all this ridiculousness was about.

They call the Fastinistas. It's like a Fashionista, only that you are "Fast" and "Fashionable". These are the new females of the running community. Putting in the miles and setting PRs wearing running skirts, bright/colorful racing flats with matching hats, running tops, arm warmers and knee socks. It seems that women want to look good, get noticed, and running companies are up to the challenge- making everything and anything to get these women looking sharp- even running dresses! Oh My!

I have trouble with this. I feel like my sport is being taken-over by those "type" people that care more about the way their makeup looks then how fast they run their mile repeats. I feel like this sort of attitude is one of the reasons why female distance running is not always taken seriously. Am I wrong? The article also includes a picture of Kara Goucher wearing black arm warmers in her 2008 marathon debut, and Shalane Flanagan wearing bright white knee socks at NYC 2010. I'm obviously not the expert, but I don't think arm warmers or knee socks make you a Fastinista, if I'm not mistaken Deena Kastor has been wearing arm warmers for years...I think I remember a double at X-Country nationals from way back where she was wearing them. And with knee socks, I don't think Flanagan was wearing them to be fashionable.
Deena Kastor at Chicago in 09. Photo courtesy of
Paula Radcliffe wearing knee socks almost 10 years ago. I think it would be safe to assume she was not trying to make a fashion statement.

Don't get me wrong, there are days where I go out for a run and I do like to match, and I am lucky that most of my running clothes do look good. And fashion will (and should) belong in women's sports because society really cares how we look, and we care because it is something (I believe) that is ingrained in us just because we are female....
But a sports bra and shorts is about as far as I go. In the end, the only thing that really matters is how far and how fast I train or race. I have never wore a running skirt. My brooks shorts have pockets that allow me to carry my gels, my sports bras are comfortable and do the job they were designed to.

I will also say, I have seen a lightning fast half-marathon won by a women that was wearing a running skirt and matching sports bra. If I was in that race, I would have got my butt handed to me. Maybe she was a "Fastinista?"
A true "Fastinista" Sally Meyerhoff is pictured here winning More Magazine's Women's Half-Marathon (in a running skirt). Sally died in a cycling accident early in 2011. Sally was a two-time Olympic Trials qualifier and two-time All-American at Duke.

Last but not least, I must admit that the rise in women's running skirts has left me wanted to try one and see what the craze is all about. Good thing is that I run at 4:30 in the morning, so no one will see me!! Although, Brooks makes some super cute ones. Maybe, just maybe, there is something to all this "Fastinista" talk after all.

Training week in Review:

I still don't know what I am racing yet.

Monday:10 miles
Tuesday: 9 miles
Wednesday:8-9 miles w/ 8x800m at 2:39-2:43 w/ 2 rest
Thursday: 45 minutes recovery
Friday: 8-9 miles
Saturday: 16 miles in 1:51 w/ some good miles thrown in there
Sunday: 55 minutes super easy


Caitlyn Clark said…
hahaha!!! I hope Ayedubbs shares a picture of her during her Marathon Debut (2:55) She had a legit ballerina tu-tu on!... and the one time we raced, she had a skirt on and beat the whole field. And she makes fun of me for wearing a ribbon!!? I like to match and look sharp, but I think the point of the arm warmers is to stay warm, and the point of the socks is for compression. I wouldn't add bells and whistles that aren't essential (except for the ribbon)
Jenn said…
Ha! I thought maybe you spelled that wrong in your title but I see now!

Hmmmm-never worn a running skirt here either. To each his own there, but a running dress?? Oh My is right! Mile repeats in a running dress..... I've probably been beaten by a few running skirts (hopefully no dresses:) Armwarmers serve a purpose-I've worn those. IMO-stick with the Brooks shorts-ha!

Nice week. Wow on the 800's!
Happy Feet 26.2 said…
I have some running skirts, and I must admit, I like the way I feel in wearing them ("I feel like a woman...) However, if I'm racing I will be in my LuLu run shorts.

I haven't found a running skirt that is as comfortable as my running shorts, but I haven't bought a LuLu running skirt yet. ?? If I ever find a totally comfy skirt I will totally wear it for racing, and I will proudly chase PRs in it. :) :)
Happy Feet 26.2 said…
thanks so much for sharing your training - awesome by the way - please continue it. I wish more bloggers shared their training. Thanks!
AshleyR said…
The skirts are just plain comfy and they hide the thicker portion of my thighs. When thicker thighs rub they eat shorts causing them to bunch at the crotch and rub. And if you don't like compression shorts, those rarely stay in place on many women, then skirts with spankies/briefs underneath are perfect. You couldn't pay me to run in traditional running shorts any more. This is coming from a non-girly girl. I don't wear make-up or spend more than a minute on my hair 90% of the time. Oh, and I wear dresses to run in as well, super comfy!
Gotta say for the longest time I was anti-running skirt thinking it was too girly for running. However, I saw them picking up in interest and really didn't think that many female runners really cared about fashion to that extreme. So I bit the bullet and tried one and you know what, I like them. They are more comfortable for me. I was really for running in boy shorts and my running shorts would bunch up and bug me on the longer runs. Now I am essentially running in a boy short with a skirt on top, which makes me feel more comfortable. It isn't about fashion for me, but comfort. And yes, I do try not to clash when I run but I am not huge in fashion. And make-up....NEVER!
Anonymous said…
I bought this issue last weekend and I was a bit thrown off by the gear she cover runner was wearing; a bit too much! I think some people are taking it to the extreme trying to be different. I for one, am all about practicality and comfort. Agree that Deena, Kara and Shalane definitely were not thinking "I am wearing this because I am a Fastinista". I have tried running skirts and honestly for some reason I felt kind of naked, mostly because I am 6'1" and skirst are normally just short on me. I spent the whole run pulling it down.

Asphalt Tales
I no longer read Runner's World. Not my thing anymore. I own running skirts and wear the park, when I play with my son, but not running. Honestly, when I run I look like hell, sweat all over, grimaces of pain, the last thing I care about is being pretty or fashionable. I want to be tough. I mostly wear black in races, something about feeling bada$$ in black!
You are doing awesome, love to read about your training!
Miss Erosion said…
I too run REALLY early in the morning... so I never match. But if a fashionable outfit gives someone the extra confidence to push themselves a little bit harder, I say go for it. That being said, whenever there is a demand to exploit - companies will sure take advantage of it! The cover of Runners World is proof.
lindsay said…
I am anti-running-skirt and dress (yes, seen those too sadly!). I do however love bright colors, but i don't think that is too froo-froo or fashionista, I still am just wearing shorts and a tee/tank top. Plus I get called "sir" too often (umm even in a sports bra) so I tend to lean towards pink clothes if I can.
Anonymous said…
Great post!!

I wear running skirts, not to look good, but because they are really functional. I hate the way women's shorts don't have the full split, and how you can see your butt cheaks if you wear guys shorts. I hate how if you wear spandex shorts it's difficult to find comfortable underwear to wear under them, and also that everyone sees the outline of your underwear in spandex shorts. Running skirts solved that problem for me! I can wear spandex and have the skirt hang down over top so you can't see any underwear line! Only some running skirts are functional though. I have found Nike and Champion (cheap target line) make the best ones!

keep up the awesome training!
Anonymous said…

I just saw cclark's comment. She must have been beer-adjusting my marathon time, as I stopped to have two beers during the marathon, and ran 2:57, not 2:55 (she gives me too much credit).

But I will post a picture on my blog of the outfit my friends peer-pressured me into wearing with a link to your post! It was a great read. Thanks again for sharing.


Popular posts from this blog

Sacroiliac Joint (S.I. Joint) dysfunction and running. How to deal, what works for me.

I've been getting this question a lot so I thought I would blog about it.

People have been asking me about my "hip" and what it feels like/ what I do about it. In college I was misdiagnosed with piriformis syndrome and ran hurt 75% of the time. It was not until I was out of college that a chiropractor convinced me that this was definitely not the case.

What it feels like: Besides serious hamstring tightness and a bad achilles, about 3 miles into a race or hard tempo run, my hip starts to cramp along the inside of my hamstring down to my knee. I will then have trouble bending the leg at the knee and start to "lose control" of my left leg. My lower back will cramp up. My pace and form will really suffer. Sometimes will get relief after about 4 miles of this awkwardness.

Over the years I have tried everything and anything, and felt that the reduced running schedule while pregnant may help the issue. Of course, pregnancy did not help and the joint pain returned al…

Marathon personal best 5 years in the making

So I've decided to update this blog because someone called me a Grandma.

No, that's not why, but I appreciate the motivation. It's been a year since I've blogged, but I've still been running a lot, and I've been pretty active on Strava. If I remember correctly I logged somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,500 miles of running in 2016, and I hope to log more than that in 2017 if my legs allow it. By the way, I'm also on Instagram, too.
So to summarize my running in 2016 (because after all, this is a blog about running) I believe that 2016 was a pretty good year.  After New Orleans, I attempted a few half marathons and 10ks that went terribly, so I decided to quit road racing for a while and train primarily for mountain running. I did well on the mountain circuit; I finished 2nd at Canadian Mountain Running Nationals in Squamish B.C., and then went on the finish 3rd at NACAC Mountain Running Championships in Tepatitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. After a few weeks of conte…

Just a tired mom rambling

I've been completely stuck (with my running) for about a year now. Even though I was still progressing before I became pregnant with baby #2, I was losing heart.

My life is very full, and putting everything into my running doesn't bring me the joy that it used to. I would much rather put more energy into my kids and my work. It is absolute pure joy watching them grow, play and laugh at the silly things they do. I'd much rather fix peanut butter sandwiches and clean up sticky finger prints then get in an afternoon run. I'm more likely to take a day off then shuffle through a 6 miler just to make a mark in my training log. I'm a parent first, and my mortgage doesn't pay for it's work must come second.

The world needs people to give it their all to reach their goals others may have thought impossible. But, that is just not me.
Quality of quantity. Maximizing hard days. Listening to my coach every step of the way.
I'd rather take baby steps then n…